Are You Cooking The Life Out Of Your Food?

I’ve mentioned many times in this venue how raw, living food is what will allow the body to heal.  Not cooking your food keeps enzymes, oxygen and water content in your food, and therefore making it better able for your body to absorb.  Heating destroys nutrients and your food’s enzymes.  Heating also destroys water soluble vitamins like vitamin C and all the B vitamins.  I still eat a small amount of cooked food, but it just doesn’t taste the same anymore.  I’m eating more vegan food as well as high raw foods.  The past couple of weeks, since I’ve been moving around a lot, I’ve had a cucumber for breakfast almost every day. I know vegetables for breakfast?  Yes, and you can too.  It’s all about changing your patterns.  Fresh organic produce has been easy to find these days.  I am in the Adirondacks in New York State taking advantage of the local farmers markets every week. 

If you want to get good at anything, you have to focus, learn and invest some time in learning how it works, right?  Everyone needs to learn about taking care of their body because everyone has a body.  In addtion to your “day job”, you need to make the time to learn the basics of taking care of your body.  The reason we believe what the drug companies, media, agricultural and food and beverage companies have to say is because we are nutritionally ignorant.  So let’s learn a little bit more about the food we cook on a daily basis.

When you cook food on a grill, stove top, oven, camp fire or a microwave, you are changing the molecular structure of the food and change the nutritional content and digestibility.  This structure becomes denatured, deranged and degraded, and the molecules are changed into new chemical configurations and carcinogenic byproducts are formed, thereby promoting a broad spectrum of allergies, infections and degenerative diseases..  Certainly the degree to which this happens depends on the cooking time, temperature and method of cooking.  Heating food above 105-120 degrees F, destroys all enzymes and lowers the concentration of vitamins and minerals.  You body can produce the enzymes necessary for digestion and absorption of food, however this process requires a great deal of energy that would otherwise be used for  the process of elimination, fighting disease, and allowing you to function at an optimal physical and mental level. 

In cooked foods, fats are carcinogenized, carbs are caramelized, and proteins are coagulated and become virtually unusable by the body and fiber becomes barely usable in the colon.  Heating food also creates toxic byproducts.  Here’s a few of these dangerous byproducts:

Acrylamides:  Cancer causing byproducts of cooking carbohydrate food such as breads, potatoes, pastries and any other kinds of starch.  The FDA acknowledges on their website the perils of acrylamides, but the processed and fast food industry would rather you don’t know about these.

Epoxides, Hydroperoxides, unsaturated aldehydes:  These three are generated when you cook the fat from meat, milk, eggs and fish.  From Wikipedia, “An epoxide is a cyclic ether.”  The rest of the definition on Wikipedia was not even understandable to me.

Furfural/furans: generated when sugars are heated.  Wikipedia states, “Except for occasional use in perfume, furfural remained a relatively obscure chemical until 1922, when the Quaker Oats Company began mass-producing it from oat hulls….When heated above 250 degrees, furfural decomposes into furan and carbon monoxide, sometimes explosively… Furfural is also used as a solvent in petrochemical refining….” 

Nitrosamines:  When nitrogen oxides in the gas flame from gas ovens or barbecues interact with fats, these toxins are created.  Nitrosamines are chemical compounds of a chemical structure, some of which are carcinogenic.

Polycyclic Hydrocarbons:  These carcinogens are generated from the charring of meat. From Wikipedia,  ”PAHs occur in oil, coal and tar deposits, and are produced as byproducts of fuel burning….as a pollutant, they are of concern because some compounds have been identified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic….PAHs are also found in foods.  Studies have shown that most food intake of PAHs comes from cereals, oils and fats.  Smaller intakes come from vegetables and cooked meats.”

Hydrogenated oils and Trans fats:  These are man-made.  They are also called hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats and were specifically developed to allow processed foods to sit on the shelf longer without going rancid.  Many of today’s common foods are now cooked in these trans fats.  Consuming these fats can lead to obesity, heart disease, an increase in bad cholesterol and lowering of the good.  Also keep in mind when you heat common cooking oils, the heat denatures the oil molecule and causes the oil to turn rancid.

Are you still asking yourself what happens to you if you eat cooked foods?  Digestive leukocytes is a term that refering to when your body produces an increase of white blood cells, indicating the body is on the attack.  This response also happens when you eat cooked food.  However it does not happen when you eat raw foods.   A build up of toxic, acidic waste materials, often referred to as “free radicals”, accumulates in the skin, liver, nervous system and brain when you consume large amounts of cooked food.  When you don’t get the proper nutrients in your diet, your white blood cells are always on the attack mode.  Toxic waste are circulating in your weak and overworked body, allowing it to breed common ailments such as allergies, headaches, sinusitis, diabetes, heart disease, erectile dysfunction, depression, arthritis, osteoporosis, and various cancers will thrive.  Unfriendly flora build-up is also a byproduct of cooked foods.  Unfriendly bacteria take over the colon, feeding on thick, undigested and uneliminated cooked food putrefying in the intestines.  This flora will give off a waste product that is a food for cancer cells.  Eating a plant based uncooked diet will decrease the toxic load on the colon and will also decrease unfriendly bacteria and its dangerous byproducts.

Not cooking your food will have the following benefits: Weight stabilization, increased energy, more restful sleep, radiant skin, enhanced mental clarity, increased immune function and prevention of illness.  You don’t need to eliminate all cooked food from your diet to have these benefits.  How about just substituting one meal a day with raw food for starters?  Or if you are already doing that, how about increasing to one day a week eating nothing but uncooked food?  Most people believe lunch or dinner is their best bet for raw.  Large salads with every veggie in the fridge, juicing a meal or sandwiches with sprouted grain bread (these breads are usually available in the frozen section.  They are baked at low temperatures to retain the nutritional content of their ingredients). Top your sandwich with all raw ingredients, like veggies and sprouts.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, just make it colorful.

Be proactive about your own health.  Stay informed.  It’s your job.

As always, consult your primary physician if you have questions regarding your specific circumstances.

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  • http://eatingrawfoodsinfo.com Eating Raw Foods Info

    Good post. We eat a combination of raw and cooked vegan foods – as much raw as possible. It’s much easier to eat this way in the summer as I am also in NY and during those cold winter months, you seem to want more “comfort food.”

    For people just starting out, try adding a salad to your lunch and dinner meals. It’s a start, and then each week, add in some additional raw fruits and veggies.

    Who knows? Soon you may even be juicing!

  • http://www.cookingwitharthritis.com Melinda Winner

    Great blog, very informitive. I enjoyed reading it and had alot of great info. thanks for sharing

  • Donna Boyle

    Thanks for your comments!